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Campaigns running on Google’s Display Network often get a bad reputation for being difficult to control. Long-standing issues like the absence of tools that provide sufficient bid data and the inability to know where exactly your ads may show are just a couple of reasons advertisers tend to shy away from these types of campaigns.

We all want a return on our ad spend and many advertiser’s will tell you that display campaigns are just too risky, especially contextually targeted display campaigns. Well, times are changing with Google’s new contextual targeting tool.

The tool, still in beta, may already be hiding under your nose in your AdWords account, check under the tools tab.

Keyword strategy is quite different on the Display Network vs. the Search Network. These campaigns target content on the web by keyword themes rather than specific user queries. So it’s important that each of your ad groups consists of only a few very tightly themed keywords that all work together to tell Google exactly what kind of content you want to target.

Many advertisers just use the keywords they are already targeting in their search campaigns to target display. This can be dangerous and spendy as it’s easy to get carried away with too many keywords per ad group and then the theme evaporates leaving your ad to flounder around the net showing too often next to irrelevant content or not show as often as it should because Google’s confused. The contextual targeting tool gives you the ad groups based on your topic. These ad group suggestions come straight from the horse’s mouth folks. Google thinks these keywords go together and make up a single theme that Google understands and can use to find relevant content that matches the content you want to target.

One of the things I love most about this tool is that it also provides suggested bid information alongside the suggested ad groups. Yay! No more magical bids pulled from thin air to start contextual campaigns. We have a source of data prior to launch and if you think this is good, you’ll love the sneak peak at potential placements!

That’s right; you can click on each suggested ad group to see a list of placements where your ads may show and not just the domains, the specific URL’s! You can now find sites that aren’t appropriate and exclude them prior to spending a single cent running a blind contextually targeted campaign.

Contextually targeted campaigns aren’t so scary after all, are they? Thanks, Google!


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